International Program Coordinators at CrossContinental.org Visit Volunteers Abroad.
Vancouver, BC (PRWEB) December 27, 2016
International internships and volunteer abroad programs through CrossContinental.org are known to be good value with the benefit of gaining international work experience combined with authentic cultural immersion. The team at CrossContinental travel frequently every year to inspect volunteer projects and gain first-hand experience living like their international volunteers. The small head office team is multi-lingual, culturally fluent, and well-traveled. They recently returned after inspecting many volunteer abroad projects in Latin America, Asia, and Africa.
The team at CrossContinental.org understands that it is important to understand their volunteer abroad programs by living at the same accommodations and working at the same projects as their volunteers. Such experience offers firsthand knowledge of what it is like to be an intern or volunteer in a foreign land. It is CrossContinental’s policy for its volunteers to be adaptable, flexible, and respectful overseas. That is not just a convenient rule for international volunteers to follow, it actually reflects the organization’s core values. As such, staff members are required to experience life as an international volunteer as part of their training experience.
- Adapting to African Living Conditions
The first stop for the team was Africa. The living conditions in Africa may be basic, but it was nothing the team couldn’t get used to. Some host families in East Africa don’t have running water, and very few families have washing machines, so the team adapted by washing their clothes by hand and taking sponge baths. The lifestyle in Africa may be basic, but it is hard to get bored in this land of adventure. Sometimes in the morning, the team could spot little monkeys just outside their window. The locals were extremely welcoming and loved to be photographed. It was an experience to witness how the locals living in decrepit conditions get by with just a couple of barrels of water each week. Working and living with locals offers a great opportunity to really get to know their culture. The team can proudly say that they have lived in some rough living conditions and adapted to live a happy and productive international volunteer life.
- Dealing with Language Barriers in Latin America
In Latin America, the team led by Jenn Leslie visited Mexico and Ecuador. In Ecuador, they stayed with local host families and visited a street children project and an orphanage project in Quito. Taking the bus from the home-stay to the project was a good way to experience what public transportation was like in South America. Language barriers can also be a serious issue in Latin America, so experiencing what it is like to communicate in Spanish with their host family and project supervisors let the team experience firsthand the challenges their volunteers face. Such experiences put the team in a better position to offer advice and guidance to their participants.
- Meeting International Volunteers in Asia
In Asia, the team visited some medical and teaching projects in Chengde city and Zhangjiakou Wanquan town. The hospitals warmly welcomed the CrossContinental team and showed them around their different departments. Some of their international healthcare volunteers were present at the time, and were very surprised to meet their international coordinators in person. Two medical volunteers, Angels Nguyen (a first year medical student from Rowan University in New Jersey) and Milky Abajorga (a student from Clark University in Worcester, MA) went out for dinner and took in a cultural show with the visiting CrossConntinental team and had a great time doing it. To these international volunteers, it was a nice surprise as they certainly did not expect to meet the head office team in person. The attached video (https://youtu.be/1tN8S4keqGM) illustrates this experience.
Cross-Continental Solutions provides affordable yet flexible international learning programs, including volunteer abroad, intern abroad, cultural immersion, language study, and gap year programs. A large variety of work placement options are available such as: Teaching, Healthcare, Community Development, Business Coaching, HIV work, Care-giving, Orphanage Work, Journalism, Photography, Wildlife, Agriculture, Environmental Protection, Microfinance, Tourism, Marketing, and more. Programs are available at many locations around the world, including Africa, Asia, and Latin America. By living and working side by side with locals, participants gain an exceptional cross-cultural experience and the opportunity to truly make a difference. For more details, visit CrossContinental.org.